Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Conciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • Army for Lion Rampant

    Posted By on February 6, 2016

    Foot Knights

    Foot Knights

    Greg Priebe is trying to get us started on Lion Rampant.  In order to get up and running quickly, Greg asked Chris and me to paint an army.  He handed us each a bag of figures to paint.  We decided to paint them generically and by color.  I have the blue army.  I have read the rules several months ago, but I haven’t played yet, so I don’t know what the distinctions between “fierce foot,” “foot sergeants,” and “foot knights” is.

    Foot Sergeants, Fierce Foot, and Skirmishers

    Foot Sergeants, Fierce Foot, and Skirmishers

    While preparing the figures, I broke off one of the spears, so I replaced it with a flag.

    Mounted Knights

    Mounted Knights

    Archers

    Archers

    While I was at it, I completed 20 28mm Cybermen.

    Cybermen

    Cybermen

    Pulp Cowboys

    Posted By on February 5, 2016

    Back before Fall In (November 2015), Bob Murched released a new line of figures within his Pulp range focusing on cowboys, Villistas, etc.  I picked them up at Fall In, and I am just now getting them painted.  They have Bob’s usual character and animation.  I think they are excellent figures.  We recently played a cowboy game, so I have high hopes of getting them on the table soon.

    Fourth (and final) Installment of the Combat Patrol Design Article Posted

    Posted By on February 2, 2016

    The folks at Cigar Box Battles have just posted the fourth and final installment of my serialized article on the design of Combat Patrol.  Enjoy.

    Part 4

    Combat Patrol(TM): WWII Now Available through Sally 4th

    Posted By on February 1, 2016

    After a few weeks of coordination, I am excited to announce that I have teamed with Sally 4th to make Combat Patrol(TM): WWII more easily available in the UK and Europe.

    Sally 4th is the maker of quality wargaming terrain, including their photo textured buildings.

     Potential customers in the UK and Europe complained that the price of shipping one set of cards nearly exceeded the price of the set of cards.  Chris Abbey at Sally 4th kindly reached out, and after a little back and forth, we determined that we could make the game available with a UK printer through his Web site for about the same price as they are available from DriveThru Cards but without the high cross-ocean shipping charges.

    Lest there be any confusion, the rules remain available through DriveThru as well as Sally 4th.  I am very happy with the support and service from DriveThru, and they produce the kind of high-quality, professional cards I wanted for Combat Patrol.  Sally 4th will provide the same service and quality on their side of the ocean.

    Potential UK and European customers, please check out Sally 4th’s Web site and order your copy of Combat Patrol(TM).

    A Fourth Combat Patrol (TM) Video

    Posted By on January 27, 2016

    I just posted another Combat Patrol (TM) Instructional video on YouTube. This one describes the process of anti-tank fire. You can get to it through the rules’ Web page or directly on YouTube.  Check it out!

    One of life's great joys: knocking out a Nazi tank.

    Combat Patrol(TM) Design Articles on Cigarbox Battles

    Posted By on January 23, 2016

    I wrote a longish article on the design process for Combat Patrol(TM): World War II.  It was originally serialized and posted on The War-games Website.  After the six-month exclusive period expired, the articles have been reposed on Cigarbox Battles.  The first three parts of this four-part article are posted now.  Please give them a read and let me know what you think.  I have always found reading about how other serious designers go about their design process.  If you haven’t heard of Combat Patrol(TM), see the rules’ Web site here.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    Part 4 will be published in February.

    While you are at the Cigar Box Battles site, this is a fun article.

    Combat Patrol Science Fiction Support Weapons

    Posted By on January 19, 2016

    Box art for Cadian heavy weapons

    Box art for Cadian heavy weapons

    I have been collecting figures to adapt Combat Patrol(TM): World War II for science fiction skirmishes.  I have the Woodbine figures from the movie Aliens, the Sergeant Major’s Miniatures Firefly crew, and a bunch of Reaper Bones science fiction figures.  Chris pointed out that for an open-field type science fiction skirmish we needed some vehicles and support weapons.  I am working on a a scratch-build APC (more on that when I finish it).  Someone directed me to Pig Iron’s Web page, where I ordered a bunch of heavy infantry with support weapons.  Until those arrive, I found this box of Games Workshop Warhammer 40k support weapons.  This weekend I assembled and painted them.  The interesting thing about this box of figures is that it comes with crew for three weapons, but enough parts to make three each of several different weapons.  I guess you are supposed to choose which weapons you want to build; however, I wanted to be able to use any mix of them in a game.  As a result, I assembled them for maximum flexibility, sacrificing some aesthetics.  The figures don’t look as much like a permanently-mounted two-man crew any more so that I can mix and match them during a game.

    Configured with heavy AT type gun

    Configured with heavy AT type gun

    Configured as mortars

    Configured as mortars

    With a sharp hobby knife I scraped off most the GW wings and skulls to make them more generic.  There were MANY to scrape off.

    A shoulder-fired AT rocket

    A shoulder-fired AT rocket

    Configured as laser cannons

    Configured as laser cannons (with shoulder-fired AT rocket launcher in the foreground)

    Configured as machinegun-like things

    Configured as machinegun-like things

    There were also a bunch of extra canteen, rifles, ammunition, and other bits.  When I build my space ship, I will use them to equip the arms room.

    Even though the flexibility meant that the figures didn’t fit as nicely behind all the weapon, and some of the poses are a bit off, I am happy with the final outcome.

    Boot Hill Friday Night

    Posted By on January 17, 2016

    A long shot of Zeb Cook's Boot Hill game

    A long shot of Zeb Cook's Boot Hill game

    Friday night we had two miniatures games at the club.  Eric ran a Hogwarts themed game with Blood and Swash.  The other was Zeb’s cowboy free for all using the old TSR Boot Hill rules.

    A closer view of the town

    A closer view of the town

    The game was a wild affair with various groups fighting to break a prisoner out of the jail, keep him in the jail, and/or pump him for information.

    My deputy caught between two rival gangs -- he didn't survive the encounter

    My deputy caught between two rival gangs -- he didn't survive the encounter

    In the end I was able to hold onto the prisoner; however, Bruce and his “opportunists” won the game by bartering their services for gold.

    The interior of the jail with a homesteader and one of my deputies guarding the prisoner

    The interior of the jail with a homesteader and one of my deputies guarding the prisoner

    It has been many, many years since I have played Boot Hill.  It was in many ways nostalgic to play a game with percentile dice.  While it had quite a few modifiers and charts, it didn’t take too long to pick it back up.  Everyone had a good time.

    X-Wing Game in Orlando

    Posted By on January 13, 2016

    I was in Orlando this week for work.  This evening I had a chance to play a largish X-Wing game with a guy from work at a local hobby store, Paladin.  My dice were characteristically cold, and I was down from 6 to 2 ships in just a couple of turns.  The game was nonetheless fun.

    New Combat Patrol (TM) video posted

    Posted By on January 10, 2016

    I posted another Combat Patrol (TM) demonstration video to the rules’ Web page:  http://www.bucksurdu.com/Buck_Surdu/Combat_Patrol.html.